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This year’s July 4th holiday falling on a Wednesday has a lot of Americans grumbling about a missed opportunity for an extra short vacation. So what can you do? Here are five suggestions for making the most of your midweek day off.

1. Explore your hometown. Is there an obscure local museum you’ve never been to? How about a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out? You don’t have to travel far to discover new experiences.

2. Take a day trip. Spend the day in the country, or make a day of it in the closest big city. If you can, avoid the well-known, popular beaches since everyone else will be there hogging the sand.

3. Pretend you’re European and make it a long weekend anyway. In French it’s called faire le pont , or “making the bridge.” (Although if this were Europe you’d have six weeks paid vacation.)

4. Have an at-home spa day. Slice up some cucumbers, light those scented candles, and imagine you’re somewhere exotic.

5. Research your next vacation. Planning a trip takes time. Use your free day to lock down the lowest rates on hotels, look up seasonal festivals and events, and map out your travel route for your next great getaway.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more.

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